Hello! After a couple of weeks away on my holiday in Disneyland Florida, I thought I would do some mini reviews about what I read while I was away. I managed 3 books which is a lot less than I would usually read but I was pretty busy! Both This is Going to Hurt and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo have sat on my shelves for over a year – both were books I really wanted to read and I knew I would love them but since I’ve started blogging and getting sent review copies, I just never seemed to find the time to pick them up. Clear my Name was the one review copy I took with me – I have read other books by Paula Daly and loved them and the 3 books together were a varied bunch to read!
This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay
Originally published: April 2018
Author: Adam Kay
Published by: Picador
Genre: Medical Memoir
Length: 280 pages
Reading dates: 3-5 August 2019
The medical memoir genre is one that I love – I love medical dramas on TV and reading true life stories of doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners is perfect for me! I’d heard lots of great things about This is Going to Hurt and it didn’t disappoint.
These are Adam Kay’s diaries from when he started work as a junior doctor after qualifying in 2004 until he decided to leave medicine in 2010, having made it to the position of Senior Registrar. This is a no-holds-barred account of what it is like to work for the NHS – the ridiculously long hours on little to no rest and without proper meals, the effect it has on your family and social life and the emotional strain. I had no idea a junior doctor could be at that level for 5-15 years, how little they get paid for the amount of hours they work and how some consultants barely bother to show their faces.
But overall, this is a funny book. Kay has a real talent for writing about serious situations but with a humorous slant. I hesitate to call a book hilarious but I really thought this was. It often made me laugh out loud and I was constantly passing it to whoever was with me to read sections themselves! But along with the humour, there is a sad side to this book. Some of the patient stories are heart-breaking. Kay’s specialism in obstetrics leads to lots of horrifying birth stories which made me glad I’ve finished having babies.
Having spent some time in hospitals over the last few years, with both my mum and mother in law having cancer treatment and my son for a chronic pain condition, I have a lot of sympathy for the people who do that work. Full marks for an entertaining yet thought provoking read and I’m really looking forward to his new book, Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas due in October 2019.
Clear my Name by Paula Daly
Originally published: 8 August 2019
Author: Paula Daly
Published by: Bantam Press
Length: 304 pages
Reading dates: 5-7 August 2019
Having read a couple of other Paula Daly’s books I was thrilled to receive a surprise proof copy of Clear my Name! I really like her thrillers – often set in the Lake District with relatable female leads. She is one of my go-to authors.
Tess Gilroy, a former probation officer, works for Innocence UK, a charity which looks into alleged miscarriages of justice. Tess and her team are approached by the daughter of Carrie, who is in prison, accused of brutally murdering her husband’s lover. Carrie has always denied the crime, despite the fact that her own blood was found at the scene. Three years into a fifteen year prison sentence, she is desperate to get back to her pregnant daughter and when the team starts looking into it, they realise there are several pieces of missing evidence in the investigation and they take on her case. This leads Tess and her colleague Avril back to her home town of Morecombe where the crime took place which means Tess risks uncovering the secrets she has spent her life hiding.
This was a real page turner – Tess is a flawed yet likeable character and the story is told both from her point of view as she uncovers evidence and from Carrie’s as we look back at her life in the run up to the murder. We also learn of Tess’s history – it is apparent from early on she has some secrets. I really enjoyed this – a great crime thriller that kept me gripped!
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Originally published: June 2017
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published by: Washington Square Press
Length: 389 pages
Reading dates: 8-17 August 2019
This was all over Instagram in 2017 and although I knew nothing about it I wanted to read it. I finally bought myself a copy and it sat on my shelves for ages – I knew I was going to love it and wanted to savour it!
Reclusive Hollywood icon, Evelyn Hugo is now in her 80s and is ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But everyone is surprised when she chooses an unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant to write her memoir, especially Monique herself.
Looking back to Evelyn’s arrival in Los Angeles in the 1950s to leaving show business in the 1980s, the story is broken into the time period of each of her husbands. Some were married for love, some for convenience, some to help further her career. This is a rich and evocative story of Hollywood glamour through the ages, the scandals, ambition and friendships all told from Evelyn’s point of view.
But of course, there is more to the story – Evelyn didn’t choose Monique as a random journalist and the link between them is truly shocking!
I loved this book and just wanted it to go on forever. Evelyn’s story is one of someone who is undeniably ruthless, but I still liked her. I really want to read Daisy Jones & the Six now and the rest of her back catalogue.
So that’s that – all caught up on reviews and itching to get back into reading, blogging and catching up with you all. Apologies for not liking and sharing your posts over the last couple of weeks but I hope to be back on it soon!